Thursday 30 March 2023

Uncle who murdered niece and dumped body 'like rubbish' jailed for life



An uncle who murdered his 20-year-old niece before dumping her body "like rubbish" has been ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years of a life sentence behind bars.

Repair man Mohammed Taroos Khan, 53, killed Somaiya Begum in an attack at her home in Binnie Street, Bradford, on June 25 last year, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Her decomposing body was found 11 days later wrapped in a rug, tied up with string, on land used as a dumping ground on Fitzwilliam Street, Bradford.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter KC  said she was “dumped and left to rot and decompose on wasteland like rubbish, such that she was not recognisable”.

He said her body was so decomposed it was not possible to find a cause of death but there was an 11cm long metal spike embedded in her chest which had punctured her lung.

Miss Begum had been living at the property with another of her uncles and her grandmother under the terms of a forced marriage protection order, following attempts by her father, Mohammed Yaseen Khan, to force her to marry a cousin from Pakistan “by threat of violence”, a jury heard.

However, the judge refused to speculate on the motive behind the brutal killing.

Khan had denied murder but admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice by disposing of Miss Begum’s body and burning her mobile telephone.

However, he was found guilty of murdering her on Tuesday.

Sentencing Khan to life in prison on Wednesday, Mr Justice Garnham said: “It is not possible to identify a motive for this dreadful attack by you on an innocent young woman.

“It is said you did not support her forced marriage to the cousin in Pakistan.

“It is said you did not share the view of your brother, Yaseen, about the role of women or the obligation of Somaiya to obey her father.

“Moreover, it is pure speculation to consider whether this murder was part of some appalling family agreement.”

He told Bradford Crown Court: “All that matters for present purposes is that the jury have found you guilty of the heinous crime of murder.

“I decline to speculate on your motive and I reject the prosecution’s suggestion that I should treat this as any form of so-called honour killing."

The grey-haired defendant sat in the glass-fronted dock wearing a grey fleece and a black body-warmer and flanked by two security officers as the judge outlined the callousness with which he disposed of his niece’s body.

Mr Justice Garnham told him: “You showed absolutely no respect for the dead body of your niece in the way you dumped it unceremoniously, wrapped in carpet and covered in scrap material, amongst rubbish on waste ground.

“You left it there to rot in the summer heat and, when it was found, Somaiya’s face had been eaten away by maggots.

“Inevitably the loss of this bright, vibrant young woman is felt acutely by other members of her family.”

The judge described Miss Begum as “an intelligent young woman of real spirit and courage” and recalled that her uncle, Dawood Khan, had referred to her in court as the “light of his life”.

The jury heard that Miss Begum’s family had already been split in two by a previous dispute before her father’s attempts to force her to marry when she was 16.


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